PHOTOGRAPHY by APRIL MASS | Where am I?
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Where am I?

March 19, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

It's 2015 and it's been over a year since I've updated this little blog of mine. 

Where to begin?  2015 brought about a lot of change.  I'm not an indecisive person by any stretch of the word and I don't do well with inconsistency---normally.  This year has been full of inconsistent opportunities and tests (metaphoric and literal).  I've quit a couple of jobs.  I got to the point mentally where if a job I'm doing doesn't bring some amount of joy or happiness then it's time to throw in the towel.  Yep.  Towel thrown.  More than once.  More than twice, even.  I grew up in a household where I was constantly reminded that if something doesn't make me happy or I no longer enjoy it, that it's not something I must continue doing.  I've carried this with me into adulthood.  Being in a super supportive marriage helps, too.  Tremendously.   Don't confuse this with giving up or quitting.  I'm not someone who does either of those and I don't mind working, I actually enjoy working.  Too much.  What can I say?  I like paychecks.

I stumbled upon a job in the latter part of 2014 that was fiscally great, but mentally draining.  It was not my cup of tea.  It wasn't an industry I enjoyed.  I didn't respect the people I worked for and the bitterness grew and grew.  With a simple flick of the wrist I threw that towel in.  Never looked back.  That's the thing about throwing towels, or anything for that matter, just don't look back.  Unless it's a boomerang, you better look back and catch that. 

I am now a long term art sub for a middle school.  After a few discussions, pro and con lists and the "Why not?" factor I decided teaching could possibly be what I've been destined to do.  I would get breaks with my husband, I could spend more time on my photography and I'd be working with kids, which I've always enjoyed.  I am certified to teach Art Education and getting certified this spring to teach Special Education.  As it turns out, I don't enjoy tests now anymore than I did in college. 

I've been the art sub since early February and it has opened my eyes.  I now understand why teachers get breaks.  News flash, breaks are for teachers.

I am teaching at a Title 1 middle school.  For the most part the students don't dig art.  A lot of them don't even enjoy coloring, something to this day I still like to do.  Discipline has been an issue.  You want to be the nice guy (or gal in my case), you want them to respect you enough to understand that they cannot be hateful, rude or just mean.  These are expectations I had.  These aren't expectations the students had.  A lot of their households are not at all similar to the one I grew up in.  The number one is a big deal with this topic.  I grew up in one household.  One little household of 4 people, 2 dogs and a fish from time to time.  I didn't worry about my home life.  That was and still is my safe place.  My base in the game of tag.  I liked art and learning because I didn't have these worries.  I knew I'd go home every day to my family.  I knew most days I'd get home to homemade fudge or brownies.  I knew I had some sort of practice in the evening and I knew dinner would follow.  I knew I'd take a hot shower and be tucked into bed.  A nice bed of my own.  In a room full of my things. 

My expectations for the classroom and students were based off of my life and my upbringing.  Jon has reminded me over and over that middle school April is not the same as the middle schoolers coming into my classroom.

Even through the last few weeks of trials and tribulations in the classroom, I still want to pursue teaching.  I worried it would be something that I thought I wanted to do, but ended up being miserable.  Again.  It's the first job I don't mind putting effort into after business hours.  This is huge.  Please, don't get me wrong, not every student in the school is defiant and cruel, there are plenty who are angelic, keep me laughing and are my piece of relief for the day.

So what am I doing?  I am an educator in the making.  I'm a photographer.  And for now I'm also working part time at Von Maur.  Because retail therapy is best when you get a discount.  Plus, we don't have kids.  No offense to those with kids, because I love your kids, but without them I'm able to add a lot more to my plate.  One day I'll have a full time job again and we'll add a child to the mix and things will be different, but at this time I'm doing what I'm able to in the place that I'm at.  Capiche?

"Sometimes the people around you won't understand your journey.  They don't need to, it's not for them." 


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